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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1997 Jun 15;151(2):139-44.

Distribution of the synergistic haemolysin genes hld and slush with respect to agr in human staphylococci.

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UPRES EA1655, Faculté de Médecine Laennec, Lyon, France.


Several staphylococcal species express a synergistic activity which potentiates hemolysis by beta-hemolysin. In Staphylococcus aureus, this activity is mediated by the delta-hemolysin, coded by the hld gene within the agr locus. In S. lugdunensis, the equivalent activity results from the production of 3 small peptides coded by an operon named slush, distinct from hld and located outside the agr region. We examined 15 clinically relevant staphylococcal species for the presence of hld, slush and agr by specific hybridisation. All species contained a recognizable agr-related locus. Three species never produced synergistic haemolysis and contained neither hld nor slush. Of the 12 producer strains, 5 contained hld, apparently within the agr region, 4 contained slush and one (S. caprae) contained both. Two other producer species (S. hominis and S. simulans) hybridised to neither probe.

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